Candidates from the liberal Union of Right Forces took third place with 10.5% of the vote, according to results from 171 of the 430 polling centres set up throughout the war-torn southern Russian republic for Sunday's vote, the first legislative elections there in eight years.

The Kremlin billed the elections as a milestone in the "normalisation" of life in Chechnya, where Russian troops and pro-Russian local military forces remain locked in a low-intensity war with separatists, with both sides suffering casualties almost daily.

The partial results, announced by Ismail Baikhanov, chairman of the province's election commission, put the Eurasian Union party in fourth place with just over 5% of the vote, followed by the liberal Yabloko party with 4% and the leftwing nationalist Rodina party with 3%.

Turnout exceeded 66%, well above the level needed for the elections to be considered valid, Baikhanov said.